Sweet Old Southern Thing*

Lucinda Williams at the MIM on Friday
© Proper Manky 2013

Went to see Lucinda Williams at the MIM on Friday with TLMW and MS.

The 300-seat auditorium at the MIM was an intimate venue for Lucinda Williams and her typical low-key, self-effacing style. She was superbly accompanied by guitarist Doug Pettibone and they played a full, uninterrupted set of standards plus a couple of newer songs.

Their set started out with Car Wheels on A Gravel Road and her homage to New Orleans, Crescent City. Next up was 2 Cool 2 B 4-Gotten, with that great “june-bug vs. hurricane” line. LW started playing the song on her guitar but quickly gave up for not getting the tune right (“that’s so fucking embarrassing”) and launched into a boisterous version with just her wonderful, gravelly voice.

Next came People Talking and Jackson, both songs showcasing her strong foothold in roots and Americana music. In Born to Be Loved, a song from her newest album, LW sang with a deep voice full of hope rising above words of pain and anguish, reminiscent of an Odetta song.

This was followed by a pretty ballad, “Place in My Heart”, apparently a new song the two performed alone for the first time. Next up was Blue with a great verse:

Go find a jukebox and see what a quarter will do
I don’t wanna talk I just wanna go back to blue
Feed’s me when I’m hungry and quenches my thirst
Loves me when I’m lonely and thinks of me first

Daughter of a poet. That was followed by Bitter Memory, one of the songs she just recorded for the new ABC show Nashville and Jail-House Tears in a swinging duet with DP. He did a passable job, but few can be as convincing a bad boy loser as Elvis Costello was when he recorded the song with LW a few years ago.

Following that came the famous country song, Apartment #9, which is normally unbearable to me when sung by Tammy Wynette, but LW brought out all the soul in this old torch song. A wonderful version of Well, Well, Well came next.

One of my favorite LW tunes is Pineola, her moving eulogy to the poet and family friend Frank Stanford who committed suicide in the 1970’s while LW was living with her family in Arkansas. She introduced the song saying that she took some poetic license with the song and changed Stanford’s religious affiliation from Catholic to Pentecostal. It’s a lovely touch not only because it gives the song a “Southern Gothic” feel overall but also because it allowed her to rhyme:

Born and raised in Pineola, his mama believed in the Pentecost
She got the preacher to say some words so his soul wouldn’t get lost

LW next performed her song Drunken Angel, which she said she wrote for a promising songwriter in Austin named Blaze Foley who was shot at a young age. But, she said, she could have written the song about any other singer/songwriter who died too young, like Gran Parsons, Curt Cobain, or Townes Van Zandt. Her southern charm, however much a cliche that may be, was on full display during the intro to this song. She then turned to a rocking version of Real Live Bleeding Fingers And Broken Guitar Strings.

Next came her rendition of an old Skip James song, Hard Times Killing Floor Blues. “He wrote this during the Depression,” LW said, “but of course it’s still relevant today.” She closed the main set with two uplifting songs. First came Joy, an updated version which has taken on a whole new meaning as part of the West of Memphis soundtrack, and then DP and her rambled through Honey Bee, a classic rock ‘n’ roll tune with a dose of children’s music so corny only someone like LW could pull it off:

Oh, my little honey bee
I’m so glad you stung me
You’ve become my weakness
Now I’ve got your sweetness
All up in my hair

One wonders what she’s really singing about.

For one of the encores, LW played a beautiful version of John Denver’s This Old Guitar, which she apparently just recorded for a tribute album. The last two songs were her rocking Change the Locks and her Delta blues Get Right with God, performed in the Mississippi Fred vein. For the encore songs, LW and DP were joined on stage by Walter Salas Humara, founder of The Silos, who also opened up for her.

All in all, the show developed slowly at first. There were a few rough spots and LW quipped she had been told before that she “had a lot of soul but needed to work on her stage presence”. Yet, LW and DP eventually found their groove and put on a relaxed and at the same time very passionate performance. “It’s all kind of lose tonight,” she told the audience, “hope everyone else is too”. She got through it all just fine and left no doubt that she is still one of the most gifted songwriters in American music, all of her songs full of detail, poetry, and humanity.

* At one point during the show LW, referred to herself as just a “sweet old southern thing”.

Addendum: The concert at the MIM on Friday was so delightful, that MS and I decided to drive up to Flagstaff on Saturday and also see her concert at the Orpheum. And we’re glad we did! While we fully expected to find ourselves in a Groundhog-Day-like time loop, much to our surprise about 60% of the set list turned out to be different from the night before.

Lucinda Williams at the Orpheum on Saturday
© Proper Manky 2013

There was a different vibe about this show: LW seemed more confident and in charge and started off the first half of the set with a series of elegiac songs that set a great mood. The atmosphere was electric inside the Orpheum on a bitter, cold night. The place was packed with limited open seating and standing room. LW and DP clearly enjoyed themselves and let it rip in the second half. LW in particular was in rare form. “Maybe it’s the altitude”, she offered. They unleashed their inner Neil Young and even Jimi Hendrix on several songs and generally jammed brilliantly all night.

Ventura sounded beautifully stripped down to just two guitars and LW’s voice. In Fruits of My Labor she sang about lavender, lotus blossoms, tangerines and persimmons, sugarcane, grapes and honeydew melon in a way one could almost smell and taste them. Her ode to the West could as well have been a love song to Arizona and featured a nice, long DP solo. A song about lost love, Over Time, was another beautiful ballad – only Willie Nelson was missing to sing in a duet with her. Something Wicked This Way Comes, a title she borrowed from a Ray Bradbury novel, was apparently also in contention as a theme song for the ABC series Nashville. LW and DP treated the song like a hellfire and brimstone, Gothic country tune. Afterwards, LW went off on automatic assault weapons, the 2nd amendment, muskets, the NRA, and “John Bonehead” for several minutes. Bitter Memory was one song that sounded a lot better than the night before at the MIM. The Delta Blues Down the Big Road was raw and powerful.

Altogether, two very enjoyable concerts in two days!

Lucinda Williams at the Orpheum on Saturday
© Proper Manky 2013

MIM – Friday January 11, 2013 Orpheum – Saturday January 12, 2013
  1. Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
  2. Crescent City
  3. 2 Kool 2 B 4-Gotten
  4. People Talkin’
  5. Jackson
  6. Born To Be Loved
  7. Place in My Heart
  8. Blue
  9. Bitter Memory
  10. Jailhouse Tears
  11. Apartment #9
  12. Well, Well, Well
  13. Pineola
  14. Drunken Angel
  15. Real Live Bleeding Fingers
  16. Hard Time Killin Floor Blues
  17. Joy
  18. Honey Bee

Encores:

  1. This Old Guitar
  2. Changed The Locks
  3. Get Right With God
  1. Can’t Let Go
  2. Metal Firecracker
  3. Right in Time
  4. Ventura
  5. Place in my Heart
  6. Fruits of My Labor
  7. West
  8. Over Time
  9. Jail House Tears
  10. Apartment #9 (aborted)
  11. I Lost It
  12. Drunken Angel
  13. Something Wicked This Way Comes
  14. Essence
  15. Down the Big Road Blues
  16. Joy
  17. Honey Bee

Encores:

  1. This Old Guitar
  2. Apartment #9
  3. Change The Locks

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Storitellas

I have long been a huge fan of storytelling or spoken word “songs”. My definition for these types of “songs” is simple: spoken lyrics plus music, but no singing. To illustrate by way of exclusion, my definition does not include any of the following:

  • “songs” that have, for example, spoken intros but then continue in sung form
  • poetry readings without music or long storytelling monologues like the ones by Spaulding Gray (but it might include, for example, Beat poetry that is accompanied by music)
  • “songs” using a vocal technique somewhere between singing and speaking, what the Germans call Sprechgesang in which pitches may be sung, but generally the articulation is rapid and loose like speech. Examples are e.g. many songs by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Gianmaria Testa, Paolo Conte, and many others.
  • as a matter of principle, anything by William Shatner
I’ve made no attempt at putting together an encyclopedic playlist of “songs” under the above definition. Hence, another limiting criterion I have applied to the working playlist below is that I have to like the “song”. I could have included many other examples but, as the case may be, I just didn’t care for the story, the voice, the music, or something else. In other words, the playlist below has been rather fickly curated with my whims and biases in mind.

For the vast majority of “songs” included in the list below I have found, and edited where needed, the corresponding lyrics. Precisely because many of the “songs” tell stories – some sad, some strange and surreal, some insanely funny, some angry, some poetic – it adds to the pleasure of listening to them when one can also read along. A PDF version of the lyrics is here – individual copyright claims apply even if not stated.

Needless to say, I am always on the look-out for new material. Please pass on the good stuff.

# Artist Song Album Time
1 Regina Spektor Whisper Soviet Kitsch 0:45
2 The Velvet Underground The Gift White Light/White Heat 8:19
3 Belle & Sebastian A Space Boy Dream The Boy With The Arab Strap 3:02
4 Looper Columbo’s Car Up A Tree 4:54
5 Moby If Things Were Perfect Play 4:19
6 Touch and Go Tango in Harlem I Find You Very Attractive 3:26
7 Ralph Acid Jazz On a Rainy Day This Is for the Night People 3:43
8 Gotan Project Feat. Juan Carlos Cáceres Notas Lunático 4:21
9 Jim Morrison & The Doors An American Prayer An American Prayer 3:04
10 Jim Morrison & The Doors Hour for Magic An American Prayer 1:18
11 Jim Morrison & The Doors A Feast of Friends An American Prayer 2:11
12 Ginger Baker Trio East Timor Going Back Home 4:42
13 Bob Dylan Three Angels New Morning 2:10
14 Belle & Sebastian A Century of Elvis Push Barman to Open Old Wounds 4:29
15 Quincy Troupe Change The United States Of Poetry 1:29
16 Tom Waits Frank’s Wild Years Swordfishtrombones 1:54
17 Federico Aubele Mona Gran Hotel Buenos Aires 1:58
18 Up, Bustle & Out Havana’s Streets Rebel Radio Master Sessions, Vol. 1 4:02
19 Kevin Johansen Volutas De Humo City Zen 2:08
20 Leo Ferre La vie d’artiste (Version Piano) Léo Ferré 3:35
21 Looper Dave The Moon Man Up A Tree 5:12
22 Jim Morrison & The Doors Lament An American Prayer 2:19
23 Gianmaria Testa Plage Du Prophète Il valzer di un giorno 1:35
24 Barry Adamson Vermillion Kisses Oedipus Schmoedipus 3:03
25 Herbie Hancock The Jungle Line (feat. Leonard Cohen) River – The Joni Letters 5:01
26 Antipop Consortium & Matthew Shipp Monstro City Antipop Vs. Matthew Shipp 3:05
27 Ruth Forman Stoplight Politics The United States Of Poetry 1:43
28 The Shangri-Las Past, Present and Future The Very Best of The Shangri-Las 2:42
29 Tom Waits Army Ants Orphans 3:26
30 Serge Gainsbourg Melody Histoire De Melody Nelson 7:32
31 Tindersticks My Sister Tindersticks (2nd Album) [Deluxe Version] 8:11
32 Slint Good Morning Captain Kids Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 7:39
33 John Cooper Clarke Beasley Street The Very Best Of 6:44
34 Talking Heads Seen and Not Seen Remain In Light 3:25
35 Jim Morrison & The Doors A Feast of Friends An American Prayer 2:11
36 Ben Watt & Estelle Pop a Cap In Yo’ Ass (Radio Edit) Buzzin’ Fly – 5 Golden Years In the Wilderness – Unmixed and Selected By Ben Watt 4:08
37 Cake Short Skirt/Long Jacket Comfort Eagle 3:24
38 Tom Waits Nirvana Orphans 2:13
39 Arab Strap New Birds Philophobia 6:28
40 William S. Burroughs A Thanksgiving Prayer Dead City Radio 2:22
41 DJ Vadim Your Revolution (feat. Sarah Jones) Ninja Tune Retrospect (No. 1) 4:12
42 James Brown King Heroin There It Is 3:58
43 Tom Waits What’s He Building In There Mule Variations 3:20
44 John Cale & Lou Reed A Dream Songs for Drella 6:33
45 Cake Mr. Mastodon Farm Motorcade of Generosity 5:28
46 The Specials & Rhoda Dakar The Boiler Stereo-Typical: A’s B’s & Rarities 5:47
47 Tindersticks Chocolate The Something Rain 9:04
48 Gil Scott-Heron The Revolution Will Not Be Televised The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 3:07
49 Van Morrison Coney Island Still On Top – The Greatest Hits (Deluxe Version) 2:04
50 Jim Morrison & The Doors The Ghost Song An American Prayer 5:16
51 Lazyboy Underwear Goes Inside the Pants Underwear Goes Inside the Pants – Single 4:54
52 Dead Kennedys Night of the Living Rednecks Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death 5:10
53 Tom Waits Missing My Son Orphans (Bastards) 3:38
54 Billy Bragg Walk Away Renee Must I Paint You a Picture?: The Essential Billy Bragg 2:24
55 The Clientele Losing Haringey Strange Geometry 4:02
56 Arab Strap The First Big Weekend The Week Never Starts Round Here 4:53
57 Maxïmo Park Acrobat A Certain Trigger 4:43
58 William S. Burroughs Words of Advice for Young People Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales 4:42
59 Linton Kwesi Johnson Sonny’s Lettah (Anti-Sus Poem) Reggae Greats: Linton Kwesi Johnson 3:52
60 Looper Impossible Things #2 Up A Tree 5:23
61 Gil Scott-Heron Whitey On The Moon The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 1:29
62 Benjamin Biolay Brandt rhapsodie La Superbe 4:44
63 Eminem & Dido Stan The Marshall Mathers LP 6:44
64 Leonard Cohen Democracy The United States Of Poetry 2:27
65 Serge Gainsbourg Variations sur Marilou L’homme à tête de chou 7:40
66 Saint Etienne Over the Border Words and Music By Saint Etienne 5:05
67 Indran Amirthanayagam So Beautiful The United States Of Poetry 2:34
68 Milosz, Czeslaw Gift The United States Of Poetry 1:09
69 Tom Waits Children’s Story Orphans 1:43
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The Bad Plus


Saw The Bad Plus with TLMW at the MIM. I’ve loved their work ever since they came out with These Are the Vistas and their raucous interpretation of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit (rivaled really only by the Robert Glasper Experiment version).* This was the very first time they performed in AZ.

As expected, they played like three seemingly crazed musicologists each doing their own thing yet doing so together splendidly. Sometimes they drifted into sonic chaos, or they created symphonic sounds reminiscent of film music, and at other times they played around with “shrewdly lurching syncopations.”

On this night, they leisurely burned through a 1.5 hour-long set, basically ignoring their trademark, off-the-wall pop covers of early albums, and sticking almost exclusively to the ecclectic material from their brand-new studio album, Made Possible. I realize The Bad Plus claim that they are “deeply earnest” about everything they do, but there’s something obviously subversive and anarchic about these guys. Along with their sly wit, they also clearly have a profound sense of performance art and the absurd.

While the album is full of electronically produced synthetic textures with layers of synthesizer and electronic drum sounds, the concert was mostly a straight up acoustic affair with a few entertaining effects thrown in. At one point in Sing For a Silver Dollar there was a long abstract-improv section of piano-string pluckings and percussion rattlings and in The Empire Strikes Backwards the drummer Dave King worked on two rubbery E.T. toys to produce hauntingly high-pitched squeals. Reid Anderson, the bassist, clarified with tongue only half in cheek that the E.T. intermezzo in the concert version didn’t make it on the album due to copyright reasons. Throughout the concert he made similarly off-beat comments on their playlist.

Seven Minute Mind was my favorite, just a jaw-dropping orgy with whiplash tempo changes exerting “an accretive force, moving from barest breeze to prairie twister,” as the NYT put it in a review of the album. The tempo control in that song was absolutely astounding. “Thriftstore Jewelry” was a full-on blast of Latin rhythms and jubilant playfulness. As an encore, The Bad Plus played a lovely extended version of the Aphex Twin’s Flim.

The acoustics at the MIM that night were spectacular, every note crisp and clear, and the trio’s sound well-balanced even for us sitting stage left.

While all three muscians were quite brilliant in their own right, what really stood out for me was Dave King’s work on drums, perhaps somewhat helped by the fact that we pretty much sat right in front of him. This guy is simply amazing, an incredible, ingenious, and idiosyncratic wizard on the skins.

As was announced at the end of the concert, The Bad Plus are planning to be back in town next year with their rendition of Igor Stravinsky’s entire ballet The Rite of Spring. Apparently they have been working on a commission from Duke University and Lincoln Center and been rehearsing their own version of this complex composition for the past eight months.

The playlist was a follows (from Made Possible unless otherwise noted):

  1. Pound for Pound
  2. Wolf Out
  3. The Empire Strikes Backwards (from Suspicious Activity?)
  4. Re-Elect That
  5. For My Eyes Only
  6. You Are
  7. Sing for a Silver Dollar
  8. Thriftstore Jewelry (from Prog)
  9. Seven Minute Mind
  10. In Stitches
  11. Flim (from These Are the Vistas)

* Another early cover by The Bad Plus (and there are several) is their spectacular version of ABBA’s Knowing Me, Knowing You with exquisite musicianship by the trio throughout, especially the fierce, Rachmaninoffish piano motor boating at the 5 minute mark.

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Playlist 09/2012

Name Artist Album Track Number
Lillies Of The Valley Jun Miyake Pina, Tanzt, Tanzt, Sonst Sind Wir Verloren 2
Never Understand Fang Island Major 5
Edith and the Kingpin (feat. Tina Turner) Herbie Hancock River – The Joni Letters 2
The Secret Sun Jesse Harris Forgetting Sarah Marshall
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
14
You Gotta Feel It Spoon Kill The Moonlight 10
Blank Slate The National Boxer 13
Que Pasa? (Trio Version) Horace Silver Song for My Father (The Rudy Van
Gelder Edition Remastered)
8
The Night Before the Funeral Arab Strap Philophobia 7
Rio Ancho (Rumba) Paco De Lucía Almoraima 7
Easy Living Sonny Stitt Personal Appearance 2
Sick of Elephants (Bonus Track) Andrew Bird Armchair Apocrypha 13
Mona Federico Aubele Gran Hotel Buenos Aires 7
Knowing Me, Knowing You The Bad Plus Knowing Me, Knowing You – Single 1
Sweetheart (feat. Zooey Deschanel) M. Ward A Wasteland Companion 4
La Enganadora Rubén González Introducing…Rubén González 1
The Girl from Ipanema Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto Discover Jazz 10
Planet Rock Jason Moran Discover Jazz 16
Je veux ZAZ Zaz 2
Polka Dots and Moonbeams Paul Desmond Paul Desmond: Greatest Hits
Series
7
Esta Noche Federico Aubele Gran Hotel Buenos Aires 5
Sagreras: El Colibri, “The Hummingbird” John Williams Spanish Guitar Music 6
Par Hasard et Pas a Rasé Serge Gainsbourg Serge Gainsbourg [Mercury] 16
Viejo Ciego Antonio Agri, Morgado & Roberto Goyeneche De Barro 8
Wogs Will Walk Cornershop Handcream for a Generation 5
Before I Grow Too Old (Silver and Gold) Joe Strummer & The
Mescaleros
Streetcore 10
The Way You Look Tonight Johnny Griffin A Blowin’ Session 1
Suzanne Julie Christensen, Nick Cave
& Perla Batalla
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man 13
Bossa Antigua Paul Desmond Bossa Antigua 1
Fever Jessica Pilnäs Norma Deloris Egstrom (A Tribute to Peggy Lee) 5
Moniebah Pharoah Sanders Pharoah Sanders’ Finest 1
Back In The Crowd Tom Waits Bad As Me 7
On the Sunny Side of the Street Dizzy Gillespie Sonny Side up  1
Terra De Ninguem (Nicola Conte Remix) Sabrina Malheiros & Nicola
Conte
Vibrasons 1
Frente Al Mar Roberto Goyeneche La Maxima Expresion del Tango 1
I See Your Face Before Me Miles Davis The Musings Of Miles 2
Yes I’m Country (And That’s OK) Robert Glasper Double Booked 3
I Surrender Dear Paul Gonsalves Gettin’ Together! 3
You Are My Sunshine Donald Harrison, Ron Carter & Billy Cobham This Is Jazz – Live At The Blue Note – Donald Harrison 3
Babe, You Turn Me On Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of
Orpheus
3
No Greater Love Ahmad Jamal At the Pershing: But Not for Me 5
Tengo Roberto Goyeneche La Maxima Expresion del Tango 3
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World Sonny Rollins Tenor Madness 5
Sin Luna Daniel Melingo The Rough Guide To Tango Nuevo 19
You Do Something To Me Sonny Rollins The Bridge 6
Different Sides Leonard Cohen Old Ideas 10
Angelica Duke Ellington & John
Coltrane
Duke Ellington & John
Coltrane
6
Pra Dizer Adeus Till Brönner & Luciana Souza Oceana 7
Bad Luck Heels DeVotchKa 100 Lovers 9
Etudes Charlie Haden, Alan Broadbent, Ernie  Watts & Billy Higgins The Private Collection 7
I Don’t Know Kat Edmonson Way Down Low 2
Convict 13 Bill Frisell / Elvin Jones /
Holland, Dave
With Dave Holland and Elvin
Jones
8
Smells Like Teen Spirit Robert Glasper Black Radio 12
Cheris The Day Robert Glasper Feat. Lalah
Hathaway
Black Radio 3
Galang (Trio Riot Version) Vijay Iyer Trio Historicity 3
Ne Me Quitte Pas Marcus Strickland Of Song 1
Tres Lindas Cubanas Fabian Almazan Personalities 9
Como Dos Extranos Esteban Morgado, Litto Nebbia
& Roberto Goyeneche
De Barro 7
Montmartre de hoy Daniel Melingo Maldito Tango 9
Asunder Fang Island Major 6
Afro Blue Robert Glasper Feat. Erykah Badu Black Radio 2
Tell Me Tom Waits Bad As Me [Disc 2] 2
Goodnight Bad Morning The Kills Midnight Boom (Bonus Track
Version)
12
Melodia del Rio Rubén González Introducing…Rubén González 4
Easy Living John Lewis, Percy Heath, Bill
Perkins, Chico Hamilton & Jim Hall
2 Degrees East – 3 Degrees West Remastered 3
Castles Made of Sand The Jimi Hendrix Experience Experience Hendrix – The Best of Jimi Hendrix 13
Moonlight (Claro de Luna) Charlie Haden / Gonzalo
Rubalcaba
Nocturne 4
Swing Lo Magellan Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan 4
Long Way Home (Featuring Lyle Lovett) Kat Edmonson Way Down Low 9
Painted On Canvas Gregory Porter Be Good 1
Dirty Blue Wovenhand Mosaic 8
Muerte en Hawaii Calle 13 Entren los Que Quieran (Deluxe
Version)
10
Samba Dees Days Charlie Byrd / Stan Getz Jazz Samba 2
One Night On Earth The Veils Nux Vomica 9
Samba Cantina Paul Desmond Bossa Antigua 4
Primitive Girl M. Ward A Wasteland Companion 2
Tu Mi Delirio Astrud Gilberto & Walter
Wanderley Trio
The Diva Series: Astrud Gilberto 3

 

 

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Corazón y Hueso

Not done listening. Too good.

Daniel Melingo is like listening to Tom Waits, Paolo Conte or Nick Cave singing tango. Like a modern Roberto Goyeneche.

On Corazón y Hueso he runs the gamut from a surreal song about an orchestra of animals in which he is joined by a children’s choir, to a sarcastic waltz (La novia), to a milonga triste (Ritos en la sombra), to a gorgeous rendition of Federico García Lorca’s poem (El paso de la siguiriya), to borderline free jazz arrangements (Ritos en la sombra, Lucio el anarquista).

With his gruff voice, Melingo doesn’t offer a sanitized version of tango, but gives it raw and earthy, straight from the streets and full of blues (i.e. canyengue), and mixes tango with other styles and instruments like the clarinet, bass, harmonica, bagpipes, guitarras sucias etc. The CD contains all the lyrics in Spanish and brief summaries, but not the entire songs, in French and English. Melingo’s lunfardo dialect is strong and occasionally hard for me to understand and there’s enough slang in the lyrics to throw me off here and there but, thanks to the included extensive glosario lunfardo, the gist is pretty clear.

The themes on this album include a(n):

  • lament to a woman who left
  • prisoner suffering homosexual abuse
  • tattoo that serves as a reminder of a prison term
  • sad ending on the lawless streets of Buenos Aires
  • poet tormented by a song named Negrito
  • ode to Buenos Aires slang
  • poet turning his own verses into people and talking to them
  • clean, hard-working anarchist

Source: Federico Garcia Lorca, Poem of the Deep Song (Spanish Edition)

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Kat Edmonson – Lucky

Didn’t care all that much for this album on first listening but it has since grown nicely on me. Particularly like her delicately subdued and searching take on the Beach Boys’ “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.” Also, “Don’t Know” is quite lovely. Julie London-ish.

Album was funded via Kickstarter project. Good review on NPR.

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A Love Supreme

© 2012 Proper Manky

Digging deep into one of jazz history’s finest albums ever. Of unbelievable intensity. Almost some kind of holy object. Somehow, as if by magic, everything comes together here. There’s so much empathy, respect, and understanding between the musicians. It’s simple and straightforward, it’s insanely complex. For some, it’s perhaps hard to listen to at first but it’s so immensely human. Touching, really. Ashley Kahn’s book about the album covers it perfectly.

As Elvin Jones, the drummer in the A Love Supreme quartet, is quoted to have said: “It’s unique. In a sense, it’s not even jazz. […] It’s totally spiritual: old people can appreciate it, little kids who haven’t been indoctrinated into music in any way can appreciate it. Every time someone hears it, that music touches them somehow.” True that.

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